Volume 17, No. 23 | June 16, 2021

Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love
It's a Wrap!
Ten workshops, an inspiring keynote speech about living in this liminal moment, a soulful report on the "State of the Conference," and, finally, stirring worship with Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson … the 2021 Annual Meeting was a whirlwind of virtual activity!

We encourage you to watch and share the all-Conference worship service and to listen to Conference Minister Rev. Shari Prestemon's State of the Conference report (see below).

Read more
All-Conference Worship Service with Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson
Rev. Shari Prestemon's "State of the Conference" report (begins about :34)
Conference News & Events
Plymouth Congregational Church of Minneapolis and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities invite you to a virtual dialogue June 22 at 7 pm on “Reimagining Public Safety: Confronting the Problem of Policing.” Scheduled three days before Derek Chauvin’s sentencing, faith and community leaders will seek to understand the ways Black and African immigrant communities in the Twin Cities can ensure public safety for the most vulnerable amid patterns of police brutality. 
Panelists include local leading voices that bring a wealth of experience and expertise to issues of policing, policy, and public safety in these communities:
  • Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis, lead minister at Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis
  • Rev. Nekima Levy Armstrong, JD, civil rights attorney-activist, scholar, and former Minneapolis mayoral candidate
  • Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN)
  • Moderated by Rev. Dr. Gary F. Green II, assistant professor of pastoral theology and social transformation at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, St. Paul

Outdoor Ministry Announces Summer Events

As we come to the end of the 2020-2021 Outdoor Ministry season (what a weird one it has been), we hope you will join us for any or all of the one-day events we have planned in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.

Senior Graduate Day: Wednesday, August 4, 9:00 am- 2:00 pm
Hidden Falls Park, St. Paul

MNIPL– Be the Spark!: Thursday, August 5, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
United Church of Christ, New Brighton

Organic Farm Tour: Saturday, August 7, 10:00 am- 2:00 pm
Auntie Annie’s Fields, near Northfield

Rest and Renew at Green Island: Sunday, August 8, 1:00 pm- 6:00 pm
Green Island Preserve, Wadena

It Started in a Twin Cities Area Local Church

by Kwame Osei Reed, retired UCC minister and member at UCC New Brighton

Our voices seemed to come together by chance. This local church Social Justice Outreach (SoJo) Committee started discussing the need for Minnesota faith-based responses to the murder of George Floyd by police officers.

With the blessing of the congregation, this United Church of Christ in New Brighton (UCCNB) Committee sought to reach out to other faith communities. Two UCC churches responded. The early discussions centered on two approaches. The first was to send a letter to the Minneapolis City Council expressing support for its vote to dismantle the city’s police department and start anew with a citizens controlled Public Safety Commission. We sent the letter to the city council, copying leaders of the state legislature and contacts in local news media.

UCC Virtual General Synod Open for Registration

The Special Virtual General Synod 33 is slated for July 11–18, with keynote speakers Valarie Kaor and Adam Taylor. Kaor is a social justice activist who leads campaigns for civil and human rights. Rev. Adam Russell Taylor is president of Sojourners and author of Mobilizing Hope: Faith-Inspired Activism for a Post Civil Rights Generation and forthcoming book, A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for Building the Beloved CommunityLEARN MORE
United Church of Christ Musicians Association Hosts Virtual National Conference

United Church of Christ Musicians Association (UCCMA) is hosting an entirely virtual national conference July 8-10. Musicians, pastors and lay leaders are invited to attend this conference filled with workshops, worship, networking, and a special concert. The UCCMA is a grass-roots national organization of over 200 members that aims to serve all those who minister through music and the arts. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER
New Anti-Racism Curriculum to Help Participants Discern Calls to Action

Reason to Have Hope: A Public Health Response to Racism — a multi-part, online, interactive, and highly adaptable course created by the Council for Health & Human Services United Church of Christ — debuts later this month. The innovative, user-friendly curriculum is geared for a group learning environment, and includes history, current events, theology, stories of resilience, and the intersections of race and social issues to help members of faith-based organizations and local churches learn from not only the material, but each other. LEARN MORE
Resources & Clergy Clusters

  • The Conference website offers a wealth of resources related to Covid, racial justice, and more.

  • Send story ideas, insights and more to communications@uccmn.org. COMMAntary is published on Wednesdays; submissions are due the Monday prior to publication at noon.

  • The United Church of Christ National Setting is offering financial assistance to local churches whose ministries have been challenged by the pandemic. See the process.

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This newsletter is brought to you by generous contribution to Our Church's Wider Mission.

The Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ (UCC) equips a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love. Through advice, support, and resources, we strengthen the 126 congregations throughout the state to do the redemptive work of God in the world.